Backstage WWE and AEW Rumors: Talent Releases, The Revival and More

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2020

Backstage WWE and AEW Rumors: Talent Releases, The Revival and More

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    The wrestling world was turned upside down by the layoff, furlough and release of dozens of WWE employees Wednesday, and the rumor mill has churned out updates regarding them and more in its wake.

    From reports of payouts to released talent and an update on NXT stars' statuses after their cuts, industry insiders have remained busy while trying to provide the latest, most up-to-date information regarding what will go down as one of the most unforgettable days in the long and illustrious history of professional wrestling.  

NXT Talent Free and Clear?

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    Sean Ross Sapp of reported the NXT talent released Wednesday will receive "30 days of pay and then are free to do whatever they want."

    This is a sharp contrast from typical WWE contracts, which usually tack on a non-compete clause that the company strictly enforces.

    While we do not yet know of many NXT stars released outside of MJ Jenkins, Aleksandar Jaksic and Deonna Purrazzo, those men and women will have an opportunity to move on immediately and appear for any promotion they see fit, per Sapp.

    If there is any silver lining in the ordeal, it is that the company has done right by them by allowing them to seek employment elsewhere rather than binding them to some contractual clause on what was already one of the worst days of their young, professional lives.

Payouts for Some Released Superstars

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    Tom Colohue of Sportskeeda reported: "This happened very quickly for the wrestlers, but the money on offer to be released by mutual agreement was a good amount."

    Such a report suggests WWE was paying at least some of the Superstars, producers or staff some sort of severance pay to make up for the less-than-ideal circumstances.

    While that will not lessen the blow of many men and women suddenly out of their dream jobs, it is another rare sign of respect from the company at a time when it is being villainized for its handling of the situation.

    Hopefully, those payouts will be enough to help keep things stable until the wrestlers are able to find their next gig, either in a lucrative indie run or with Ring of Honor, Impact Wrestling, New Japan Pro-Wrestling or All Elite Wrestling.

Raw Tag Team Championship Plans for Money in the Bank

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    Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio reported it appears as though The Street Profits vs. The Viking Raiders is slated for the Money in the Bank pay-per-view.

    That would make sense based on what we witnessed Monday on Raw, where Ivar and Erik defeated Ricochet and Cedric Alexander to spark their momentum once again. The former Raw tag champions have fallen off in recent weeks, missing out on a WrestleMania match despite feuding with the likes of Seth Rollins, AOP and The OC in the weeks leading into the show.

    The only question is whether the bruisers would be the de facto heels in the match or if WWE would officially necessitate a turn to set them up as the aggressors in a program with The Street Profits.

    The two teams have history together.

    Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins earned a great deal of credibility by taking the fight to The Viking Raiders in the manner they did during a notable episode of NXT, but they came up just short of dethroning the unstoppable badasses.

    The tides are turned now, though, and the Raiders have to beat the Profits in order to capture the gold, not the other way around. Whether frustration over their spot on the card would lead to a heel turn that sparks another championship run, though, remains to be seen.

WWE Hall of Famer and AEW Employee Weighs in on Free Agents The Revival

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    The artists formerly known as The Revival will be the hottest free agents in wrestling, according to All Elite Wrestling's Arn Anderson

    Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson, known now as Cash Wheeler and Dax Hardwood, respectively, are former Raw, SmackDown and NXT tag team champions but were never able to replicate the success they had on the black and gold brand during their time on the main roster.

    Speaking on his podcast ARN, the WWE Hall of Famer said he believes the team is the hottest commodity in wrestling at the moment, and whichever company is lucky enough to land them will be better off for it.

    This seems like an obvious statement, but it's one that carries more weight coming from a legend like Anderson who, himself, was part of an all-time great tag team with Tully Blanchard.

    All signs would seemingly point to Hardwood and Wheeler joining up with AEW after years of hinting at matches with The Young Bucks. Until their names are signed on the dotted line, though, promotions such as ROH, Impact and even the National Wrestling Alliance will likely do everything in their power to woo the team.